The kitchen cupboard was empty of Tabasco for too long, a hole in my life I shall never let grow so large in future. I brought the bottle home, excited by the pristine packaging, a printed box and labelled bottle, signed and authenticated by the long dead Edmund McIlhenny. Unable to await the serving of slow-cooked bolognaise provided for me, I grabbed the bottle and twisted off its tiny top, revealing the tight aperture atop the slender neck. Breathing deeply of the peppery aroma, in a room already infused with beefy tomato garlic goodness, the olfactory emotional response caused chaos, confusion and unplaceable positive connotations.
Many an exciting post-big shop evening has been spent shucking live oysters, tossing Tabasco onto the exposed slippery sensitive flesh of the hapless yet delicious bivalves, and slobbering them down my gullet like an orgiastic Nero-esque pleasurebot. The senses tingle with mild Capsaicin poisoning and the fetishistic consumption of living tissue. But for lack of oysters a thought crossed my mind: I love oysters and Tabasco; I love Bloody Mary with Worcestershire and Tabasco, yet I have neither oysters, nor tomato juice and vodka. I do have a freshly opened and delicious bottle of McIlhenny’s finest – let’s have a taste.
I leaned back my head and tipped down the fiery sauce in burning droplets which hit my lips and tongue, warming my face and raising an unquashable smile. Perhaps it’s not recommended by those who provide lists of suitable addictions, but if it were I would perhaps allow myself to drift into an underworld of intravenous pepper sauce. There be groups of Scov-heads and Tabas-fiends inhabiting dark dens where men become monsters and indulge in self administered pepper spray sessions. Sometimes pure pepper spray is not available and the most desperate in the group, the lowest of the low, resort to quick hits of Mace. Not being the crackhead type (at least, not today), I seem to have happened on a less extreme way of expressing today's unfathomable love for a cheap bottle of hot red water. See below:
Uncalled-for Ode to Tabasco Sauce
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways
I love thee Capsicum, vinegar and salt
My tongue and cheeks, when feeling sad, alone, unfelt
And yearning taste of mild fire
I love thee base to burning spire
Unquiet mind, craves moving feast
I love thee freely, you taste to please
I love thee purely, for five millennial Scoville’s
I love thee with taste buds to kill
In my old griefs, and with lost childhood’s taste
I love thee like whisky, Guinness, shochu, sake,
Like sashimi, jerky, and anchovy paste
Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and, if I choose,
I shall but love thee better on everything I eat.
...weird. I wrote a poem.